Cherry blossoms are Japan's national flowers. The cherry blossom trees are known as "Sakura" in Japanese. They are ceremonial symbols in Japan and are used for reception offices just like the conventional Hanami. There are various Asian cherry blossom meanings linked to this attractive flower. Here is a general overview of the various cherry blossom meanings based on the areas where it is common.   

Cherry Blossom Meanings

In Asian cultures, cherry blossom meanings usually include brave, industrious and wise. It has become both a cultural and a national symbol for various countries in Asia. The cherry blossom is fundamentally a symbol of love and joy. It is believed that the cherry blossom promotes love and spiritual awareness.

Cherry Blossom Meaning in Japan

The “Sakura” trees in Japan are highly esteemed. Japan's samurai culture admired the cherry blossom due to their short-lived lives and also used them as a representation of blood drops. It is a symbol of simplicity, spring and innocence. 

Symbol of hope: The season of cherry blossom corresponds to the calendar and fiscal years in Japan. This marks the start of new beginnings like a pupil's first day in school or a person's first day at work. The intensity and liveliness of the cherry blossom gives the warrant for anyone to dream and hope for big things in the future and to be optimistic.

Symbol of humility: The blooming period of cherry blossoms are short, leading to an instantaneous flourish and sudden death. In the Japanese culture, the flower serves as a reminder of mortality and humanity knowing that the life of a human being can end anytime just like the flower. The cherry blossom exemplifies this human condition, making people realize that life is short and that they should live it well. 


Cherry Blossom Meaning in China

Cherry blossom meanings are somewhat different from what they could symbolize in Japan. A flower in China is linked with the female beauty, feminine sexuality and authority as well. China considers the cherry blossom to be a representation of feminine beauty and power. It is considered a symbol of the attractive looks of a woman and her power to command her male counterparts through her sexuality and beauty. It also acts as a symbol of love, commonly referred to as keeping a feminized emotion.

Cherry Blossom Tattoo Meanings for Different Cultures


For Japanese

The Japanese regard the cherry blossoms as a life symbol based on their history in wood blocking methods. After a short-lived blossom, the flower falls to the ground and is moved around by rain and wind. This is the time when they become essentially appreciated and anticipated for their elegance. Cherry blossoms in Japan can be used to celebrate life following illness or a lost love. The complex design of the tree and the blossom is always used as a beautiful option for a tattoo. 


For Chinese

Just like the association of the Japanese, cherry blossoms are used as a sign of love among the Chinese people. It is also regarded as dominating and sexual. In order to celebrate sexual freedom, you can ink a cherry blossom. You can add Chinese cherry blossom to an already existing Chinese pictogram tattoo to enrich both pieces of culture. A Chinese cherry blossom tattoo is best placed on the bicep, fore arm or to the side since there will be a lot of canvas to make the tumbling and branching effect.   


For Buddhists

Buddhists beliefs in the cherry blossom are somewhat similar to those of the Japanese and Chinese orientation. In addition, the cherry blossom connotes a way of enlightenment to beliefs held by Buddhists.

Thriving in the current moment has been for years, the foundation of the beliefs held by Buddhists together with a day-to-day reminder that we exist for a short while just like the cherry blossom; a sweet yet short life. They also represent wisdom. A cherry blossom tattoo for a Buddhist reinforces lessons of life while celebrating life itself.   

Cherry Blossom Tattoo: Men vs. Women

Various symbols of tattoos are appropriate for diverse personality and gender types. The cherry blossom tree (Sakura) tattoo is generally opted for by women. However, tattoos can be customized to make them unique and personal. Therefore, men have been able to tweak them to appear masculine to suit their personality. This is possible through the mix of the main symbol of the tattoo, the cherry blossom and other intertwining concepts and elements.

  • Men interested in the Sakura tree tattoo intertwine it with skulls, fire or Geishas since they find the cherry blossom very feminine.

  • Women usually intertwine the Sakura tree or the cherry blossom with stars, butterflies or hearts to make it unique for them.

  • Both genders can also think of mixing the cherry blossom tree tattoo with quotes, koi fish or verses that are expressive.

These are a few considerations that an individual can take to be unique in their tattoo and fully represent their individual personality.

Where to Put It

It is important to know where to place your tattoo. A cherry blossom tattoo has a variety of options for placement. It is usually a big tattoo and a nice one which can also be made smaller. 

A traditional large cherry blossom tree tattoo will best fit:

  • on your back

  • to the side

  • around your arm or leg

  • on your shoulder

A smaller Sakura tree tattoo can be done:

  • on your neck to the back side

  • on the ankle

  • to the side of your hand

  • on your foot


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